March 11th, 2021

“Emesiere”, or “Good Morning!” in Efik, a Benue–Congo language spoken in Cross River State in southern Nigeria. We have been in some form of lockdown for about a year now here in California but Governor Newsome is working on a return a modified normal by April 1st. We are still trying to catch up from the dip in vaccine supplies. My second shot has been pushed again out to March 16th.

I am rereading a book that I first read as a little boy. Robert Lewis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island” was a favorite of mine when i was like 10 or so. I really got into reading historic biographies and adventure stories like, Jack London’s “Call of the Wild” or Robert Lewis Taylor’s “Journey to Matacumbe”. I could crawl into those books and get lost for hours. I was exploring the Audiobooks app and saw it and went for it … I am enjoying it a great deal. I am now at the part where the pirates have made their move, Jim Hawkins has met Ben Gunn and the good guys are hold up in the stockade. It’s actually pretty cool. He was such a great writer!!!

This week I spent another evening watching YouTube music videos. I got to see some performances of songs I have long enjoyed but never saw performed. Its a great way to spend an evening.

This week I learned some stuff:
• I saw a special on Chernobyl this week. It is amazing but we have actually proven that human habitation is much more deadly to a ecosystem than nuclear contamination. Even humans have started to repopulate the forests of Chernobyl. There are something like 32 people living surreptitiously, illegally and happily apparently in those still highly contaminated forrests. So far there have not been any reports of 3rd legs or other mutations.
• March 11th is the 70 day of 2021. Just 295 days till Christmas! Today in 1851, the first performance of Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi takes place in Venice; On this day in 1946, Rudolf Höss, the first commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp, is captured by British troops; Today in 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev is elected to the position of General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union making Gorbachev the USSR’s de facto, and last, head of state; On this day in 2004, simultaneous explosions on rush hour trains in Madrid, Spain, kill 191 people; Today in 2011, an earthquake measuring 9.0 in magnitude strikes 130 km (81 mi) east of Sendai, Japan, triggering a tsunami killing thousands of people. This event also triggered the second largest nuclear accident in history, and one of only two events to be classified as a Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale; Today in 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declares COVID-19 virus a pandemic; Today in 1903, Lawrence Welk, American accordion player and bandleader was born; J. C. R. Licklider, American computer scientist and psychologistwas born today in 1915; Ralph Abernathy, American minister and civil rights activist was born on this day in 1926; Today Rupert Murdoch, Australian-American businessman and media magnate was born in 1931; Sam Donaldson, American journalist was born today in 1934; Today in 1945, Harvey Mandel, American guitarist was born; Born today in 1959, Nina Hartley, American pornographic actress/director, sex educator, sex-positive feminist, and author; Vince Edwards, American actor (Dr, Ben Casey) and director passed away today in 1996; And finally, Slobodan Milošević, Serbian lawyer and politician, 3rd President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia passed away today in 2006.

Website Update:
This week we made the following changes:
• Last week for our New UJT Vocabulary Quiz!
• Week 2 for our new Musical Trivia Quiz !!!
• This week I cooked Gumbo and discovered my recipe was all messed up (not very clear) so I rewrote it and posted to updated version for you folks.

Writing, Ceramics, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
• I finally start back to work on my stained glass projects this week. You would think I would start to get better at it at some point!
• I missed my watercolor classes again this week.
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

• I bought a new Uno-type of card game this week. It’s called Exploding Kittens and features all knowing goat wizards, magical enchiladas and various attack cards like weaponized black hair attack. Amazon knows me so well!

Music Update:

Once again, yours truly takes you on another meander through the dusty cobwebs of my music library.

This week’s UJT Radio Program:
• Nickelback – Should Have Listened – This is a great cut by a great band. I don’t why they get a bad rap because I like their music a lot. This is a cut from their “Long Road” album released in 2003. YouTube has a lot of their videos.
• Robert Palmer — Simply Irresistible — “She’s so fine, there’s no telling where the money went”. This one was a hit back in 1988 from is “Heavy Nova” album.
• Rolling Stones — Start Me Up — This song always seems to get my blood pumping. It was a huge hit back in 1981 when “Tattoo You” came out.
• J. Ralph and Sting — The Empty Chair — This is from the sound track of the documentary, “Jim: The James Foley Story” that celebrates the life of war correspondent, Jim Foley, who was beheaded by ISIS in August of 2014. The song was nominated for an Academy Award.
• Andy Grammar — Fine By Me — This guy has a refreshing bent to his music. This one is from his debut album “Andy Grammer” which was produced by Matt Radosevich from Maroon 5 released in 2011.
• The Lumineers — Big Parade — These guys scratch an itch we didn’t know we have and they do it well. This is from their debut studio album, “The Lumineers” released in 2011.

That’s it… Do the best you can;  Laugh every chance you get;  And always remember …  The best is yet to come!  As always, thank you for being my friend!